Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources for the Greater Burlington Businesses and Community
The situation involving the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly day by day and information coming out at a staggering pace. We want you to know the Greater Burlington Partnership is here working on your behalf. We're working diligently to compile relevant information and resources to help you stay up-to-date. The Greater Burlington Partnership divisions of the Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Partners, Inc. and Economic Development are dedicated to helping support our businesses and community through this challenging time. As events change and new information becomes available this page will be updated to keep Greater Burlington Area Businesses and community members informed.
January 25, 2021
New Resource Available to Help Employers Educate Employees About COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines, highly effective and safe, offer hope and protection that can help our country continue to open back up. But vaccines alone won’t do the trick. As you all know, we must vaccinate a large majority of the American people, reduce health inequities and strengthen our public health infrastructure so we can be better prepared for the future. This new free resource is now available from the Health Action Alliance to help the business community engage employees, customers and employees
January 25 | NEW PROGRAM
IOWA RESTAURANT AND BAR RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM
An Extension of the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program
Governor Reynolds allocated $40 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide financial relief for eligible restaurants and bars impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Program will assist many Iowa establishments that were among the most directly and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures and mitigation efforts. Learn more.
January 7, 2021
Today, Gov. Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation that modifies existing public health measures designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The proclamation continues to require that when people are in an indoor public space, and unable to social distance for 15 minutes or longer, masks are required to be worn.
Spectator limits for sporting and recreational gatherings, including for high school-sponsored events, will be lifted Friday, January 8th, 2021.
Other public health measures have been extended until Saturday, February 6th, 2021.
December 22, 2020
SUMMARY OF EXTENDED RELIEF PACKAGE FOR BUSINESSES
- Economic Impact Payments of up to $600 per person (including children), begins phasing down at $75,000/year income level (or $150,000/year for married couple). Fully phased out at $99,000/year.
- Small Business Relief:
- Paycheck Protection Program – Provides additional $284.45 billion for additional PPP loans and makes important changes to the program.
- Second Round of PPP would be available for businesses who have less than 300 employees and can demonstrate a 25% decline in gross receipts in one quarter of 2020 relative to that same quarter in 2019.
- For most businesses, the size of the loans will be the same as last time (2.5x monthly payroll), but restaurants/hotels (NAICS Code 72) will be able to get loans that are 3.5x months payroll.
- Borrowers receive full loan forgiveness if they spend at least 60% of their PPP second draw loan on payroll costs over a time period of their choosing between 8 weeks and 24 weeks.
- $35 billion is set aside for first-time PPP borrowers, and of this, $15 billion is set aside for businesses with less than 10 employees or loans of less than $250k in low-income area. $25 billion is set aside for second-time borrowers that meet these qualifications.
- Treasury and SBA will have 10 days to stand up this new round of PPP, so things are going to happen very quickly once this passes.
- Streamlined forgiveness – Simplifies forgiveness process for loans under $150,000. Borrowers would only need to sign and submit a one-page certification listing the loan amount, number of employees retained, and estimated amount of loan spent on payroll costs.
- PPP Deductibility – Business expenses paid for using forgiven PPP loans would be tax deductible, reversing earlier IRS guidance.
- Repeals EIDL PPP Reduction – Repeals CARES Act requirement for the amount of PPP that gets forgiven to be reduced if the borrower also received EIDL grants.
- Strengthens safe harbor for lenders
- Establishes process through which borrowers can request a higher loan amount if regulatory changes would lead to a higher amount.
- Save Our Stages Act – $15 billion in funding for independent live venue operators, including eligible independent movie theatres and museums, affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Grants – Provides an additional $20 billion for EIDL Advance grants. Funding for these grants expired earlier this year, and this would allow folks to receive grants if they haven’t been able to do so yet. It also creates a process through which existing grantees who received less than $10,000 can receive higher grant levels.
- Other SBA provisions – Provides a boost to SBA 7a, 504, and microloan programs to help provide more access to capital to small businesses. Also provides $3.5 billion in debt relief for borrowers under these programs.
Contact your local lenders for more information.
December 16, 2020
Today, Gov. Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation that modifies existing public health measures designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The proclamation requires social distancing and reasonable public health measures for many social, community, business, or leisure gatherings or events.
For high school-sponsored events and other sporting or recreational events, including youth and adult sporting events, spectators are no longer limited to just two spectators if all spectators are from the same household.
Restaurants or bars, including a wedding reception venue, winery, brewery, distillery, country club, or other social or fraternal club can resume in-person services at their regular business hours. Bar seating is now allowed.
These new measures take effect on Thursday, December 17, 2020, and expire on January 8, 2021.
December 12, 2020
Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs today announced the launch of an Iowa Arts & Cultural Recovery Program. The statewide grant program will provide short-term relief to arts venues, cultural organizations and creative workers who have lost significant business or income due to the pandemic.
The state has allocated $7 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds for the Iowa Arts & Cultural Recovery Program. The statewide program, an extension of the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund, is offered through the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and will be administered by two of its divisions, the Iowa Arts Council and the State Historical Society of Iowa.
The Iowa Arts & Culture Recovery Program will provide relief grants ranging from $1,000 to $250,000 for arts and cultural organizations struggling to make up for reduced admissions, ticket sales, and other revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program also will provide relief grants for eligible Iowa artists who are experiencing financial hardship and can demonstrate lost revenue and/or increased expenditures due to the ongoing public health emergency.
November 16, 2020
Today, Gov. Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation that imposes a number of additional public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These new measures will be effective at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, November 17 and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on December 10, 2020.
- Masks required in indoor public space when unable to social distance for 15 minutes+.
- Indoor social, community, business, and leisure gatherings or events limited to 15 people.
- Outdoor gatherings limited to 30 people.
- All organized youth and adult sports activities of any size are suspended. High school, collegiate, and professional sports are able to continue.
- Restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, arcades, pool halls, bingo halls, and indoor playgrounds are required to close at 10 PM and cannot host private gatherings of more than 15 people.
The Iowa Economic Development, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Iowa Workforce Development have updated the Mitigating COVID-19 For Iowa Businesses and Organizations document as of 11/15/20. This document gives business owners and organizations up-to-date information on what they can do to mitigate potential exposure in their business or facilities along with other pertinent information.
November 11, 2020
Today, Gov. Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency for another 30 days. The proclamation imposes a number of additional public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These new measures will be effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11 and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2020. To view a summary of enhanced mitigation measures, click here.
The proclamation continues the requirements that those attending any social, community, recreational, leisure or sporting gathering must maintain six feet distancing from other groups. But it now also requires that those groups are limited to 8 people unless the entire group is from the same household. Additionally, all these gatherings that occur indoors with more than 25 people, or outdoors with more than 100 people, are prohibited unless all participants over 2 years old wear masks excepts when eating and drinking. In addition to these distancing and masking requirements, at an indoor youth sporting or recreational gathering, only two spectators are permitted for each youth athlete.
Customers and employees are also now required to wear masks at salons, barbershops, massage therapy establishments, tattoo establishments, tanning facilities, and other establishments providing personal services.
The proclamation also states “I continue to strongly encourage all Iowans two or older to wear a mask or other face covering when in public settings, especially in circumstances when it is not possible to remain six feet away from others outside their household, unless it is unsafe to do so because of health or disability.”
Bars and restaurants continue to be required to ensure six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking; to ensure all patrons have a seat at a table or bar and consume alcohol or food while seated; and to limit congregating together closer than six feet. And a group seated together is now limited to 8 people unless the entire group is from the same household.
Bowling alleys, pool halls, bingo halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds, and children’s play centers are now required to ensure that groups and individuals remain six feet apart at the establishment. And groups at those establishments must also be limited to 8 people unless the entire group is from the same household.
In order to discourage any unnecessary gathering in workplace settings, the proclamation also orders all employers to evaluate whether any more of their employees can feasibly work remotely and to the extent reasonable, shall take steps to enable such employees to work from home.
And the proclamation strongly encourages “all Iowans to consider how their choice to adhere to public health mitigation strategies impacts the spread of COVID-19 in their family and community. Specifically, I strongly encourage Iowans to consider avoiding events not adhering to social distancing and mask recommendations and thereby considered high risk including but not limited to weddings, funerals, bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, conventions, indoor entertainment, spectator sports, private parties, tailgating, and vacationing.”
Finally, the proclamation also again extends the suspension of weight limits for transportation of agricultural supplies and commodities on state highways from the fall harvest. And it extends many of the previously issued regulatory relief measures necessary to respond to this public health disaster, including those related to healthcare, professional licensure, educational workforce, and expirations of driver’s licenses.
The proclamation now remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 10, 2020.
August 27, 2020
Today, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency.
The proclamation, effective at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 27, 2020, orders all bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, night clubs to close in six counties: Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk, and Story county. They may continue to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises. Restaurants in these six counties are permitted to remain open, but must stop selling and serving alcoholic beverages after 10:00 p.m.
The proclamation also strongly encourages all Iowans two or older to wear a mask or other face covering when in public settings, especially in circumstances when it is not possible to remain six feet away from others outside their household, unless it is unsafe to do so because of health or disability.
These new public health measures remain in effect until September 20, 2020.
August 19, 2020
Iowa Economic Development, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Iowa Workforce Development have released a Mitigating COVID-19 For Iowa Businesses and Organizations FAQ to assist Iowan's with virus containment. Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iowa Economic Development Authority is gathering resources and information that may be of use to partners across Iowa. This document is just one of those resources.
August 4, 2020
Volunteer Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced today the launch of the Iowa Nonprofit Recovery Fund, an extension of the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program.
The program will provide short-term relief to nonprofit organizations that have seen reduced revenue and/or increased costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible nonprofits may be awarded a grant of up to $25,000, based on income, expenses, outstanding obligations and other state and federal assistance received. The program has $10 million available, which was allocated through federal CARES Act funds.
Eligible nonprofits must be a 501 (c)(3), 501 (c)(6) or 501 (c)(19), be based in Iowa and have:
- Experienced a documented, involuntary loss of revenue and/or increase in expenses that occurred after March 1, 2020, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
- An annual operating budget of more than $25,000
- Twenty-five or fewer full-time equivalent employees
- A primary mission to serve the program’s priority service populations
June 16, 2020
Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses.
Congress recently changed the rules regarding loan forgiveness. The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration are responsible for updating the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. You can find the most up-to-date information here.
PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan. This guide is designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.
June 10, 2020
Today, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation, effective at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, June 12, 2020, continues to ease restrictions on businesses and extends other public measures until Thursday, June 25, 2020. It still encourages all vulnerable Iowans, in all counties, to continue to limit their activities outside of the home.
May 26, 2020
Today, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency until June 25, 2020.
As previously announced, the proclamation permits bars, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and social and fraternal clubs may reopen on May 28 with the same public health measures as restaurants in place.
The proclamation also permits the reopening on June 1 of additional establishments, including outdoor performance venues, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement parks, skating rinks, skate parks, outdoor playgrounds.
The proclamation again permits social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people if public health measures are implemented, including limiting attendance to 50% of the venue capacity and maintaining six feet of distance between those attending. This also allows practices, games, and competitions for youth and adult baseball, softball, and individual sports such as running, biking, swimming, tennis, and golf to resume with appropriate public health measures in place.
And the proclamation extends regulatory relief to those affected by this public health emergency until June 25.
May 20, 2020
Today, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation permits summer school activities, including baseball and softball, to resume on June 1. And effective this Friday, May 22, Movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums, and wedding reception venues will be permitted to reopen with appropriate public health measures in place. Swimming pools will also be permitted to reopen for lap swimming and swimming lessons.
Governor Reynolds also announced that next Thursday, May 28, bars and other alcohol-related establishments that have been limited to carryout and delivery will be permitted to reopen for indoor or outdoor seating. These establishments will follow the same public health measures that restaurants have been implementing for the past several weeks.
The proclamation also provides additional regulatory relief to those affected by this disaster and continues to strongly encourages all vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, in all counties of the state to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including their visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose
May 13, 2020
The Reopening Your Business Toolkit is a great resource to help reopen your business in the post-COVID-19 ear. This 48 page free of charge toolkit includes guidance, signage, and customer relations information to help you safely and successfully reopen your business.
We know you are ready and anxious to reopen your doors. The Greater Burlington Partnership wants to help you be prepared for business operations in this COVID-19 era. This new toolkit will help you navigate the new normal and ensure the safety of our region, providing guidance to safely serve your customers and accommodate your employees.
Included in the Toolkit:
- How to clean and disinfect according to the CDC
- Guidance on talking to your employees as they return to work
- Checklist to reopening your business & daily cleaning checklist
- Signage for your business
The Reopening Toolkit is a benefit of your Chamber of Commerce membership or as a stakeholder in Downtown Partners, Inc.
Today, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation permits salons, barbershops, and massage and tattoo establishments to reopen throughout Iowa in a limited fashion with appropriate public health measures in place. It also permits restaurants (but not bars), fitness centers, libraries, and race tracks to reopen in the 22 counties where they have remained closed. These changes are effective at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, May 15.
The proclamation continues the other ongoing closures and public health measures, including the prohibition on social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people, until 11:59 p.m. on May 27, 2020.
It also strongly encourages all vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, in all counties of the state to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including their visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose
May 12, 2020
The situation involving the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has put a strain on businesses throughout the world. In response, state and federal resources are being introduced weekly to help businesses stem the effects. While resources are available, businesses are left to wade through the information and assess for themselves.
With information and resources changing at a rapid pace, the Greater Burlington Partnership is collaborating with experts to help our Chamber of Commerce members and stakeholders decipher the information and help you decide which resources are best for your business.
In this webinar, our panel of speakers discussed how you can re-open your business successfully and safely. As you watch you will hear from two business owners who have gone through the process in Lee County as well as local experts on emergency management and public health.
Panel Featuring: Chase Gibb, Owner, The Buffalo Tavern, Coal Haus 337, Buffalo 61 Bob Huffman, Huffman Farm & Home Gina Hardin, Coordinator, Des Moines County Emergency Management Christa Poggemiller, Director, Des Moines County Public Health Tammy Shipman, Great River Health Liaison to Public Health
May 7, 2020
Gov. Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency.
The proclamation permits dental services to resume in compliance with guidelines adopted by the Iowa Dental Board, permits some additional businesses and establishments to reopen throughout Iowa in a limited fashion with appropriate public health measures in place, and provides additional regulatory relief to assist Iowans affected by this disaster.
May 4, 2020
On March 27, 2020, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136) into law. Section 4024 of that legislation imposes a temporary moratorium on evictions. This moratorium went into effect immediately upon the enactment of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020 for 120 days.
HUD’s Office of Affordable Housing Programs (OAHP) has issued several frequently asked questions (FAQs) to provide guidance on Section 4024 of the CARES Act which imposes a temporary moratorium on evictions. The temporary eviction moratorium applies to covered dwelling units assisted by the HOME Program.
Looking for a previous update? Find all past daily updates here.
Loans & Grants
- The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
- The SBA is now making loans available statewide to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
- Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce can.
- The PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
Loans & Grants Guides & Information
- The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, intends to provide timely additional guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by section 1102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act or the Act). This document will be updated on a regular basis.
- Determine who is eligible, what are the loan parameters, how you can access an emergency $10,000 grant, and how you apply.
- Determine who is eligible, how much is the tax credit, which employees count toward eligibility, and how the credit is paid.
- Guide to determine if you are eligible, what lenders will be looking for, how much you can borrow, and if the loan will be forgiven.
- Easy to follow guide with Frequently Asked Questions and answers.
- Chart compiled of loans available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act.
What is an Essential Business & How to Get Designated an Essential Business
The ISU Ciras guide provides information related to understanding what the federal and most state governments consider to be an essential business.
Steps to self-determinate as an essential business:
- Review the CISA Critical Infrastructure Industries list versus your industry and specific business scope. Check both the industries listed and types of services or products under that industry to see if your business qualifies as an essential or critical business.
- If your business is not included in this list but you are a supplier to a company that is included, you may still be considered an essential business by the state.
- There may or may not be a formal method to appeal the industries, products, or services included per state.
- Be aware that each state may use a slightly different method or list to determine their essential businesses.
Iowa Workforce Development has created a form for employers to report unemployed claimants in Iowa who have refused legitimate job offers or refused to return to work. Completing this form will result in further investigation of the reported issue by Iowa Workforce Development.
Includes answers to these questions and more.
- We have employees scheduled to travel internationally. Should they go?
- What if an employee recently returned from international travel?
- What is the risk of the COVID-19 to Iowans? Are certain groups of people more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than others?
- What can employers do to reduce the risk of the spread of respiratory illness within the workplace?
- Who should I call if I have questions?
- Made Possible by IowaWORKS. Download your copy or call IowaWORKS at 319-753-1671 to get a physical copy.
- Press Release from Iowa Insurance Commissioner regarding Iowans who have experienced a change in employment status due to COVID-19.
- Employer Guide to the new temporary paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) programs that are 100% reimbursable by the federal government created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The effective date of both programs is April 1 and they expire on December 31, 2020.
Not sure how to begin planning for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) or how to deal with the fallout? The following resources are available to businesses.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Resources
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) workplace tips for employees
- Guidance for employers to plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Safeguard Iowa Partnership - Business Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce
- Q&A from Iowa Workforce Development on Unemployment Insurance.
- Frequently Asked Questions regarding unemployment insurance and how the CARES Act affects unemployment insurance.
- File a claim for Unemployment Insurance Benefits online through Iowa Workforce Development.
- Available options for at-home workers to keep in touch.
COVID-19 Legal Information Hotline - 1-800-332-0419
- Legal hotline created in partnership between Iowa Legal Ad, The Iowa State Bar Association, and Polk County Volunteer Lawyers Project to help Iowans with legal issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Chamber of Commerce Member Restaurants that are open for business and offer Delivery, Curbside Pick-Up or Carry Out.
- Ways you can support local small businesses in Greater Burlington.
- Downtown Burlington restaurants open for business and offer Delivery, Curbside Pick-Up or Carry Out.
- Ways to support and shop your favorite downtown from home.
How you can help
- Order Take-Out or Delivery from a local business.
- Purchase Gift Cards to be used at a later date.
- Shop at local businesses online stores.
- Like, Share & Comment on local business' social media.
- Keep your memberships current. Dues are an important revenue for many organizations.
- See a list of local restaurants.
- See a list of local retailers.
- See a list of local service businesses.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Great River Health - COVID 19 Local Information: Stay up-to-date on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information with Great River Health.
Take these steps to help protect yourself and stem the spread of the virus
- Clean your hands often
- Avoid close contact
- Stay home if you're sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect
- Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.
Health & Resource Information
Iowa Legal Aid - Information on legal issues due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
City & State Information
Burlington Community School District - Information for families including meals, Chromebook pickup, virtual learning and more